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KS3 Geography: Down on the Farm (1955-56)

How does farming in the 1950s differ to today's?

Main image of KS3 Geography: Down on the Farm (1955-56)
Author Rebecca Cramer, Lea Valley High School
TopicWWII: Agriculture, Farming
Key WordsCommon Agricultural Policy, farming methods
Curriculum linksNC geography

This short, silent home movie records a family's first experiences of country living. In the clip, family members and hired workers are seen going about core farming activities: ploughing, sowing and harvesting.

This clip can be used either at the start of a unit on primary economic activity or at the start of a section specifically on farming - a hook to a lesson on the Common Agricultural Policy or mechanisation of agriculture for examples. Alternatively can be used as an assessment for learning summarising plenary.



Play the first minute of film to the pupils. They have 3 minutes after the film to write a voice over to the film. Some can then be read out over the film. An alternative could be that pupils have slightly longer to draw a witty cartoon strip of the film. If this is used as a starter than pupils could draw a matching cartoon strip at the end of the lesson to describe farming in today's economic climate.

This leads to a teacher-led structured discussion, exploring what the film tells us about agriculture in the 1950s. How and why has it changed since then?


Some more ideas

  • Write voiceovers to accompany the clip from different perspectives
  • Ask students to draw a storyboard for a short broadcast piece 'Farming: Then and Now', using shots from this clip as well as their own shot ideas taken from contemporary farming life, brought together with a voiceover.
Video Clips
Extract (2:02)

Related Films and TV programmes

Thumbnail image of Down on the Farm (1955-56)Down on the Farm (1955-56)

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